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10 pieces of U.S. historical trivia to rain on any July 4 party

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Every party has a pooper, that’s why some people go to Fourth of July parties armed with trivia that casts doubt on conventional wisdom — especially in American history. When partygoers are lighting fireworks, exclaiming “Isn’t America beautiful?” these historical fact checkers rain the truth on their parade. Huffington Post offers 10 “truth firecrackers” to liven up (or put a quick end to) any Independence Day festivities: 1. Baseball, the “All-American” sport, likely came from England. John Thorn, official historian for…

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Baseball has been very, very good to Airbnb

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Apparently there’s nothing like a home-away-from-home for baseball fans wanting to take in Florida spring training. Airbnb, the leader in marketing vacation rental home, announced Wednesday that all 12 Florida cities that host spring training camps and stadiums for Major League Baseball teams saw remarkable spikes in bookings during the baseball spring training that ended last week. And the company’s surveys show most of that spike was due to baseball fans, coming down to catch a few spring training games…

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The Camden Effect: At 25, ballpark’s legacy is large in MLB

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A quarter-century later, Larry Lucchino can be self-deprecating about a vision that ushered in a new era of ballpark construction. “I tell everyone I’ve had one good, original idea in my 38 years in baseball,” said Lucchino, whose career as an executive has included stints with Baltimore, San Diego and Boston. “It was to build a traditional, old-fashioned ballpark with modern amenities, intimacy and irregularity.” It sounds so simple the way Lucchino describes it, and he insists the Orioles weren’t…

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Rays won’t get their first choice in search for a new stadium

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For Stuart Sternberg, finding a new stadium site for the Tampa Bay Rays hasn’t proven as easily as just identifying his preferred site. “We had some ideas on locations that just weren’t available, that I thought would have worked perfectly, but they’re off the table,” Sternberg said in Port Charlotte Thursday. “So we’re sort of moving down our list to Nos. 2, 3 and 4. It’s like starting pitchers, you have five of them and sometimes No. 4 is better…

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Baseball Prospectus sees the Tampa Bay Rays improving to second

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The Tampa Bay Rays may be facing a turnaround year. At least, that’s what the people at Baseball Prospectus believe. According the PECOTA rankings, the Rays should improve to be the second-ranked team in the AL East. They should tie the Texas Rangers for the wild-card spot with 84 wins. It was the kind of turnaround prediction that is sure to make manager Kevin Cash happy. That might sound a bit lofty when you compare it to last year’s 68-win…

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St. Petersburg International Baseball starts Friday with Team Canada vs. Rays

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The seventh season of St. Petersburg International Baseball is set to kick off Friday with a game between Team Canada and the Tampa Bay Rays prospect squad. After the opening game against the Rays prospect squad, Team Canada will take on MLB prospect teams for the Tigers on March 27, Braves on March 28, Phillies on March 29, and Blue Jays on March 30. The first five games of the seven-game season will be held at the Walter Fuller Baseball…

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Tampa Bay Rays extend center fielder Kevin Kiermaier’s contract

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Kevin Kiermaier was always one of the most popular Tampa Bay Rays. Now, he’ll be popular with his banker, too. Kiermaker, the Rays’ center fielder, signed a six-year, $53.5 million extension that will keep him in Tampa Bay through 2023. The agreement with Kiermaier marks the fourth time that Stuart Sternberg’s ownership group has guaranteed at least six years in a contract with a Rays player. Right-handed pitcher Chris Archer signed for a guaranteed six years (plus two club options)…

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